Q: I must say I’m crazy about Outlander. I love the storyline, the cast is brilliant and the production value is of the highest quality. When you were first presented with this project, did you know in your heart that this part was so well suited for you?
A: I was unaware of the book series but something in the writing really stuck a chord. Diana Gabaldon had captured a character in her dialogue that I felt I knew. I had just returned from the US for an extended pilot season and really struggled after getting close on a number of roles, but not landed a job. I was out of funds and confidence and starting to question if I could continue to pursue a career as an actor. Timing is everything and I feel very lucky it came along when it did. It’s changed my life.
Q: What are some of the things you like about your character Jamie Fraser?
A: The character for me has changed. Each episode and season he grows and develops. I’ve been playing hi for 6 years now. He’s aged 20 plus years. He’s gone from young Highland warrior to husband, father, General, and now is almost a clan Chief. With age comes experience and each season Jamie has really been through the wringer. He’s a character that I live with every day.
Q: If there was one thing you could change about your character what would it be?
A:Sometimes I wish he’d take a day off. Shooting is very intense, and he’s always involved in some way. Haha, maybe he could take a vacation once in a while. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: The sex scenes are pretty intense. Early on was this uncomfortable?
A: I’d been nude in some theatre productions before but wasn’t really looking forward to these scenes. They were challenging, but me and my costar have a good understanding. We try to use every intimate scene to show a little more of their relationship or how they relate to each other. Over time this has deepened and their love for each other just gets better and better.
Q: Knowing what you know about life in that time period, if you had the ability thru some time machine, to travel back to that period and experience life, if even for a short time, would you go?
A: Maybe to take a quick look. But really wasn’t much fun at that time I’m sure!
Q: Are you surprised by the overwhelming acceptance, support and cult following of Outlander across the Globe? You not only provide a source of entertainment, but an escape from the trials of everyday, sometimes mundane life for viewers across the globe. Your work has such a positive impact on millions of people. I think that’s absolutely beautiful. How does it make you feel?
A: Sometimes you forget how much people embrace the characters. At times some take it too far however as a performer, especially in these unsettled and dark times, it’s good that we can bring some levity and light to a situation. We do what we can. We are not saving lives but hopefully we can provide some escapism and make people smile occasionally.
Q: It is obvious you take great pride in your Scottish heritage. Was that pride a driving force behind the creation of your whiskey brand, “Sassenach?”
A: Yes, I was approached by several whisky companies but always wanted to make something myself. It represents my love and passion for Scotland, my heritage. Also, I wanted to update the way whisky is sold and the approach to it. This whisky is a double gold medal winning spirit but should be accessible and to everyone’s taste. We can’t wait to release more!
Q: Do you plan on expanding the brand to include a variety of different spirits?
A: You’re the first to know this but yes, we are working on a few ideas. All our projects celebrate Scotland and its connection or heritage, but we have some fun ideas brewing (or should I say distilling!?)
Q: Tell me what you love about your life?
A: I have been given a lot of opportunity and freedom to explore projects that I love. Current movie projects (Bloodshot, An Unquiet Life etc.) plus producing my own projects (Clanlands etc). However, there also comes a great responsibility and at times a heavy expectation from fans. It’s a balancing act.
Q: How are you coping with the current pandemic?
A: I’m doing the best I can, trying to stay safe whilst lending my voice and support to charities etc. Also want to entertain people and give them something else to think about. Bloodshot was released during the pandemic. I guess no one knew the level and extent of how this would affect us. Hopefully everyone can stay safe and positive at this time. It affects us all.
Q: What have you been doing to occupy your time at home?
A: I’ve been working on the post-production of a TV show I produced/financed and directed last year. We hope to have it air this year and it’s been a lot of fun. Also, a book deal, so I’m writing A LOT!
Q: Has this time allowed you to focus on things that you have just been too busy to do?
A: Yes, it gives us time to reflect. It can be stressful at times, trapped with your own thoughts, maybe I’m always too busy to sit with them. But there is still a lot going on and I like to remain busy.
Q: What lessons do you think this virus will teach us about humanity?
A: Life will continue but will probably never be like it was. We have a lot of lessons to learn. The thing I find comfort in is seeing nature reclaim and heal. The greenhouse emissions reduction, wildlife taking back it land, it shown us there is another way to operate. Working from home is possible. I’d just like to thank everyone who is working to protect us, those who don’t have time to reflect and have to go fight this every day. I hope we can support them and appreciate the sacrifice they make for us. I feel very fortunate, every day.